DDL unlimited: Dynamic doxastic logic for introspective agents

Erkenntnis 50 (2-3):353-385 (1999)
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The theories of belief change developed within the AGM-tradition are not logics in the proper sense, but rather informal axiomatic theories of belief change. Instead of characterizing the models of belief and belief change in a formalized object language, the AGM-approach uses a natural language — ordinary mathematical English — to characterize the mathematical structures that are under study. Recently, however, various authors such as Johan van Benthem and Maarten de Rijke have suggested representing doxastic change within a formal logical language: a dynamic modal logic. Inspired by these suggestions Krister Segerberg has developed a very general logical framework for reasoning about doxastic change: dynamic doxastic logic (DDL). This framework may be seen as an extension of standard Hintikka-style doxastic logic with dynamic operators representing various kinds of transformations of the agent's doxastic state. Basic DDL describes an agent that has opinions about the external world and an ability to change these opinions in the light of new information. Such an agent is non-introspective in the sense that he lacks opinions about his own belief states. Here we are going to discuss various possibilities for developing a dynamic doxastic logic for introspective agents: full DDL or DDL unlimited. The project of constructing such a logic is faced with difficulties due to the fact that the agent’s own doxastic state now becomes a part of the reality that he is trying to explore: when an introspective agent learns more about the world, then the reality he holds beliefs about undergoes a change. But then his introspective (higher-order) beliefs have to be adjusted accordingly. In the paper we shall consider various ways of solving this problem.
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